The federally-facilitated online marketplace offering health insurance plans is now open to Alabama residents.
If you lack insurance or want to find a plan cheaper than what you have currently, you can check out the marketplace at healthcare.gov, fill out a profile and start shopping.
If you’re reading this, you probably have access to the web. If you know someone who doesn’t however, they may be wondering where to go to access the marketplace and sign-up for insurance through it.
Those lacking a close library or other free internet source, should start by contacting the federal government’s help line. The government has set up call centers to help people with open enrollment. Call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). The number is staffed around-the-clock and information is available in more than 150 languages.
You can also enroll by mail.
You can also seek out individual, trained advisers in your community called “navigators” or organizations offering “application assistance.” Depending on state law, traditional agents and insurance brokers can also help.
Unlike brokers or agents, navigators and marketplace-designated organizations can educate you about the plans, but not what to pick. Their advice is free. If someone who is a “navigator” or a federally-designated organization tries to charge you, you’re being scammed.
Visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to search quickly for the kind of in-person application assistance mentioned above by both city and zipcode.